BEAUTY – 9 Winter Skincare Tips

As we welcome the comfort of knitted jumpers in preparation for winter, the change in weather can wreak havoc on our skin, causing it to become dry, chapped, and tight. We’ve called on some skincare experts for their best tips on how to bring comfort and hydration to our skin during these colder months…

1) Autumn is the BEST season to introduce or re-start your actives

Chemical engineer, skincare formulator, and consultant Cigdem Kemal Yilmaz says, “Autumn is a good time to restart on acids and retinoids if you have avoided them during summer. If you have normal to dry skin, you can start on your retinol serum and alternate that with either a glycolic or lactic acid serum (so one-night retinol, one-night acid, one-night rest). On top of that go for a rich, buttery moisturiser with peptides, urea, and ceramides, with a shea or mango butter base. For combination and oily skin, you can introduce any retinoid serum product and alternate with a mandelic acid serum. On top of your serums go for a lighter moisturiser with plenty of humectants such as urea, panthenol, glycerin, and light emollient oils and esters. Avoid shea butter, mango butter, etc. in your moisturiser if you have oily skin. Ingredients like dimethicone and poly-silicone 11 are good in autumn and winter for dry and even oily skin as they protect the skin against dehydration by creating a breathable barrier over the skin.”

Product recommendation – BeautyPro RETINOL 1% Overnight Serum, £8.95 The Fragrance Shop

2) You still need SPF

Chartered Scientist, and founder of SOS Serum Skincare rangeBruce Green says, “Don’t think that because its cold and there is little sun that you can dispense with your sun block. Wearing SPF all year round will reduce and can prevent cumulative sun exposure damage which can result in fine lines, wrinkles, discolouration and even skin cancer. I recommend products with SPF 20/30 during the winter months.” 

Product recommendation – SOS H20 Day Cream with SPF 30, £16

3) Keep skin barrier healthy

Skincare Educator for SBC Skincare Lyndsey Flannery says, “Your skin will become drier and often more sensitive with the onset of colder weather and central heating. As well as hydrating your skin with drinking lots, gentle cleansing is a must as you need your skin barrier to be as healthy as possible so that it can retain vital moisture. As a rule of thumb, if your skin feels tight after washing it is likely that the cleanser you are using has disrupted your skin barrier. Skin should feel calm and hydrated after washing, so if you are reaching immediately for your moisturiser you may want to consider a gentler cleanser.”

Product recommendation – SBC Skincare Propolis & White Willow Gentle Milk Cleanser, from £6.50

4) Pay attention to sensitive skin

Skincare specialist, and founder of Bedew SkinRachael Robertson says, “Those with sensitive skin may experience heightened or more significant cold or wind sensation than those without. Although everybody’s reason for sensitivity is different, some research suggests that one factor may be that people literally have different degrees of sensitivity in the nerve fibres connecting our skin to our brains. Using a richer or more soothing moisturiser with ingredients like CBD, Vegetable Glycerin, Zinc Oxide, can help balance things out and calm skin that experiences irritability.”

Product recommendation – Bedew Moisturiser, £19.99

5) Layer up at bedtime

UK Representative for COSRX Julia Marinkovich says, “My number one tip is to embrace using a more occlusive, rich product, especially for the evening routine, which can help maintain a healthy skin barrier. Overnight masks are a great option for all skin types overnight as a little goes a long way, with even oily skin benefiting from the overnight hydration and nourishment. Look for ingredients like Rice, Glycerin, Betaine, and natural oils including Sunflower Seed. The occlusive effect of such ingredients essentially shields the skin and gives it time to repair itself or maintain its natural barrier function.”

Product recommendation – COSRX Ultimate Nourishing Rice Spa Overnight Mask, £23 Beauty Bay

6) Protect lips from ‘lick eczema’

Bruce Green explains, “The lips comprise of multiple thin layers of skin. They do not contain sebaceous glands and therefore cannot produce the oils necessary to self-moisture. In winter particularly, lips can become dry so hydration and moisturisation is the answer. Drink lots of water and avoid licking them. Licking sore lips will only exacerbate dryness and can cause what is referred to as ‘lick eczema’. On top of this many people don’t realise that lips need just as much protection as your face from UVA/UVB.  It is vital to use a lip formulation with a sun block – SPF 15 being the minimum. Your lips do not have the ability to produce as much melanin as the rest of your skin – they need protecting especially on the snowy slopes with high sun reflection.”

Product recommendation – SOS Lip, £16

7) Prevent dry chapped hands

Lyndsey Flannery says, “Hands are very high risk for becoming chapped and sore in winter, the main culprit? Lack of moisture. During winter, the humidity in the outside air plunges. Inside, things are even drier, thanks to indoor heating. If you’re washing your hands frequently to avoid catching a cold or the flu, you could sap whatever natural oils are left in your skin. Opt for a hand cream that has intensively nourishing ingredients that also help with skin irritation, such as Propolis, Safflower Seed Oil, Shea Butter and Vitamin E. You can use creams throughout the day, but if you’re really struggling apply a rich layer of hand cream under cotton gloves at night. After a few nights, the skin barrier will start to heal.”

Product recommendation – SBC Skincare Propolis & Safflower Intensive Hand and Foot, £10.50

8) Skin conditioning facial mists

Cigdem Kemal Yilmaz says, “Facial mists or essences typically play a role in providing hydration to the skin before applying serums and moisturisers. I believe in making each step of your skincare routine count to be as effective as it can be. So, find a facial mist/essence with serum properties, which will allow you to elevate the results of your serum. Mists with emollients such as ceramides, dimethicone, plant or seed oils such as squalane or jojoba oil, and caprylic/capric triglyceride, prevent dryness and protect the skin by acting as a barrier and healing agent, as well as soothing and softening the skin by filling the space between skin flakes with a droplet of oil.”

Product recommendation – The Jojoba Company Jojoba Water Toning Mist, £13.95

9) Exfoliation is key

Rachael Robertson says, “While you may think exfoliation should be avoided if your skin is feeling a little dry, the opposite is true. Gentle exfoliation shifts sluggish skin cells to reveal fresh skin and promote a healthy glow. Exfoliating is even more key in winter when our skin is getting all flaky, plus it will also help to prevent breakouts.”

Product recommendation – Bedew Skin Instant Enzyme Peel, £19.99